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Author archives: "Country" James

Don’t Label Me, Don’t Scold Me. I’m Not Your Public Whipping Girl.

One of the things that can put a wrench in my day is someone or several someones who decide to take some word or words, assign a social stigma to it, throw out a condemning values judgement, which then turns the topic into a platform for that social values discussion, adding insult to injury by stating that, “Well, they wouldn’t even look at a book that contained a word like that in the promo copy.”

Well, then don’t.

And I was going to say that, but didn’t.  Instead, I went onto explain some of the story underlayment, trying to get past that and back to getting feedback.

But the social values discussion perpetuated.  And I finally spit out my own feelings on the subject – politely, I thought – but pointedly, because they had been pointed.

It irks the hell out of me when someone turns a feedback request into a personal forum to promote their “social injustice” platform, especially when that particular social injustice has nothing to do with anything involving the novel and topic.  At all.

Now, I’ll fully admit, I’ve been guilty of doing that.  Because I have.  I ran into a male writer whose entire premise was based on a particularly foul (in my opinion) perspective. And I said something.  And I  shouldn’t have.  I should have done what I do now – moved on, ignoring it. Pedophiles and megalomaniac, sadistic misogynists have a right to exist, too, I suppose.  But, damn, don’t assign some ill-informed social injustice label on me or mine just because you think you’ve got some vested right to declare me something your imagination cooked up – a misinformed imagination.

Don’t scold me. And don’t try to lecture me on things upon which you ain’t got a clue.

To Dally in My World Doesn’t Mean Sex

Of course my editor, Marva Dasef, brought up yet another one of my blind spots. I blithely use the term, ‘dally’, amongst a few other terms common to my world. “Ah…to most people, ‘dally’ means ‘hanging around’.”

Yeah, well, one of that particular word’s meanings is to act or move slowly…or a sexual liaison. But it also means to throw a couple of turns around a saddle horn.

A check in my old fashioned dictionary has this last definition, but a check using word look-up on Kindle does not provide that.


Bigger sigh.

Okay. Creatively sneak in the inline hint of its definition. But, for those curious, here’s a video:

The Front Cover Enigma

Okay. The front cover: It’s one of my enigma images. The cowboy is sitting on a fence. He’s in despair. He has his back to us.

The woman, a whore, is in pieces…because her life is in pieces. She only becomes solid where she touches the cowboy. But the more she touches the cowboy, the more life she finds she’s assured.

Front cover for To Have & To Hold, a Continuing Montana Love Story, book 2 of the Country James Novels.

Front cover for To Have & To Hold, a Continuing Montana Love Story, book 2 of the Country James Novels.

To Have & To Hold in Final

Front cover for To Have & To Hold, a Continuing Montana Love Story, book 2 of the Country James Novels.

Front cover for To Have & To Hold, a Continuing Montana Love Story, book 2 of the Country James Novels.

So, I’m in the final stages of prepping the second novel in the Country James series of Montana Love Story books. The interesting thing about this book for me is that I literally laughed out loud writing parts of it. But, when I look at the book from an outsider’s eyes, I know very few are going to have the same reaction. Very few will “get it”, because you have to know the culture – have lived it – to understand. You have to know the people to grasp their reaction to something. Even re-reading the book over and over as I go through to add and subtract little things, I still find myself laughing so hard I have to stop to catch my breath. Too bad I can’t let you in on the humor. But, that’s the way of things.

The other thing that strikes me about this novel is that even fewer will understand the underpinnings and subtle signifiers. That doesn’t matter. The story still holds as a straight-forward tale. But, all in all, though I planned to write something purely linear, purely entertaining, I didn’t. I wrote myself…which, admittedly, is sometimes a bit wickedly warped…with no apology. At least it’s in simple, straight-forward language. 😀

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